Advocating for Accident Victims in a Tort Claim
We all expect our government workers and agencies to abide by the same safety standards that they enforce. Sadly, government workers are just as prone to reckless driving, whether it is a dump truck driver who fails to check their blind spots or a police officer who speeds through an intersection without their sirens on. These costly mistakes can lead to traumatic accidents and severely injured Colorado residents who are not aware that they have a legal right to compensation.
Collisions with government vehicles are more complicated than other car accident claims, involving strict deadlines and caps on what you can file a claim for. To ensure you do not miss the chance to recover compensation, contact a Denver government vehicle accident attorney immediately. At the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our legal team can review your case and determine if you are eligible for compensation while also ensuring not a single cent is left out of your claim. Call us at (303) 502-5587 to learn what your options are under Colorado law.
Examples of Government Vehicle Accidents
Though you may not realize it, government vehicles are on the road at all hours of the day, in every neighborhood. This is more than just police cruisers and ambulances, but also UPS vans, sanitation workers, public buses, and vehicles leased for specific agencies. All of these vehicles are capable of being involved in an accident, such as:
- Police cars that are speeding, running red lights, or making dangerous turns while in pursuit of suspects.
- Fire trucks and ambulances that are rushing in response to emergencies.
- Top-heavy garbage trucks that have blind spots and obstructed views at the front, sides, and rear of the vehicle.
- Public buses and trains operated by the RTD.
- UPS vans and delivery trucks, which must meet tight deadlines.
- School buses that are operated by negligent drivers.
Just like any other car crash, negligence can impact a government worker. However, the legal statutes that govern everyday drivers do not fully apply to government vehicle accidents, making filing a claim significantly more difficult.
Sovereign Immunity in Colorado
Under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA), state and local governmental entities have sovereign immunity (cannot be sued) unless your claim falls under certain waived areas. Each waiver under the CGIA has specific exceptions and different rules and time limits that apply. One of the eight general areas in which sovereign immunity is waived under the CGIA is the “operation of a motor vehicle owned or leased by a public entity, by a public employee while in the course of employment.”
Thus, an accident with a government vehicle is eligible for a claim; however, you still must abide by a strict statute of limitations, or deadline, to successfully recover damages. For most motor vehicle accidents in Colorado, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of injury. If you are hit by a government vehicle, however, you only have 180 days from the date of the accident to file an administrative claim with the appropriate agency. If you miss that deadline, your claim is forever barred. This notice must contain specific information, including the basis of your claim, the nature and extent of your injuries, and the amount of damages you are seeking. After the notice is filed, you must wait 90 days to file a lawsuit, unless your claim is denied before that time.
Limits on Compensation
In a vehicle accident claim against a governmental entity, damages are capped at $300,000 for one injured party or $990,000 for two or more people injured in a single accident. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, your damages may include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
Because of the strict timeline and limits on compensation, it is important to contact an attorney immediately after an accident with a government vehicle. Your attorney will need to thoroughly review your case and accident report to ensure you have the best chance of recovering all the compensation owed to you.
The Advantages of the Tenge Law Firm, LLC
The Tenge Law Firm, LLC is a full-service boutique firm with over two decades of legal experience advocating for accident victims. Our case results include recovering more than tens of millions of dollars in settlements, verdicts, and arbitration awards for our clients. We provide each case with personalized legal services to ensure our clients receive the best representation available and will aggressively pursue all forms of compensation on your behalf.
If we take you on as a client, our legal team can provide assistance in all areas of your case, from filing a claim on time to getting you in contact with qualified medical providers so that you receive proper medical treatment for your injuries. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid unless we win your case. Call us today at (303) 502-5587 if you have been injured in an automobile collision with a government vehicle to speak with a knowledgeable Denver car accident attorney.